Sundew is a natural remedy for coughs

Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) has been used since ancient times to treat respiratory pathologies. It is one of the best plants to face episodes of persistent coughs so during these days. The Greek origin of its name, δρόσος [drosos], dew drops, is a representation of its appearance. Do you want to know something else?

It has an appealing appearance, but it is a carnivorous plant. Its deep red leaves and the small droplets that cover them are actually a death trap for insects. The color attracts mainly flies and mosquitoes, and the droplets are mucilages in which the insects are trapped for phagocytosis. This way, the plant complements the poor nutrition or the unsuitable pH levels provided by the poor soil in which it usually grows.

Its appearance also contributes to its exceptional therapeutic properties, which have been known for centuries. In the 12th century, the Italian physician of the Salerno School, Matthaeus Platearius, described sundew as an excellent remedy for coughs, and so it was used in Europe and especially in Germany. Herbalists recommended sundew tea for coughs, bronchitis, asthma and “bronchial cramps”. A study already proved in the first half of the 20th century that sundew does indeed have antitussive properties.

Other studies mention that the plant grows in wet meadows along the border of swamps and that animals avoid it. Some investigations show that when eaten by sheep, it causes fatal coughs. Curiously, following the principles of homeopathy, it was recommended by German physicians in the 18th century as a panacea for hoarseness.

Nowadays, the roots, flowers and fruits of the plant are recommended because of their:

  • Bronchial antispasmodic and antibacterial actions: due to its content of naphthoquinones, it soothes the muscles of the respiratory tract and avoids spasms.
  • Antitussive and emollient properties: mucilages create a gel that helps soothe persistent coughs and sore throats.
  • Expectorant and mucolytic properties: thanks to enzymes, it has the ability to dissolve the viscosity of mucus and help expel it.
  • Bronchodilator action: it facilitates the entry of air into the lungs.

Sundew is found in extracts or syrups, combined with other plants that help tackle coughs and other respiratory disorders, such as elderberry or eucalyptus.

Tags #tips #health #medicinal plants

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